Category: “Learn”

Why Adopt From Ninth Life Cat Rescue?

Why Adopt From Ninth Life Cat Rescue?

Why Adopt from Ninth Life Cat Rescue?

First of all, you are giving a cat a home and a new chance at life. As an animal lover, what can be better than that?

Ninth Life Cat Rescue shelters cats of all ages and colours, including, occasionally, purebreds. Mixed parentage kitties come from tough stock and are every bit as beautiful and lovable. Read More →

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The Invisible Ones: In Praise of Older Cats

The Invisible Ones: In Praise of Older Cats

The Invisible Ones: In Praise of Older Cats

Kitten season arrives in early spring and often continues late into the year if the weather stays nice.This year it seems that we may even have an extended summer and that could mean more and more kittens. It is an exciting time to see all the little fur babies scampering around and entertaining everyone who drops by the adoption centres. Children squeal with delight as the fluffy fur-balls go flying by and parents chuckle at their silly feline antics.

Kittens, Kittens, Kittens

So why do volunteers at the rescue feel sad when kitten season is here? It is because once the kittens arrive, the older cats (i.e. 1 year and up) become invisible. How can sweet 8-year Maestro with the damaged ear due to a mite infestation compete with the frolicking cuteness of a small kitten? What about cute Aunt May, only 2 years old who has been looking for her new home for months now; how can she show off her loving quality when little fur- balls are bouncing around? Who will notice that Blackjack is the sweetest boy despite his rugged appearance? Or that poor Albert and Victoria have as much play and love in them as the little ones?

As volunteers, we smile at the kittens and know they will be adopted soon after arrival. Even the black ones have a good chance when they are tiny and frisky. However, many of us feel that our hearts will always belong with the cats that are older. You can see how grateful they are for attention and the smallest indication of love. They give so much and ask so little. They are content to sit and listen to you telling them about your day. They snuggle in and give comfort when you need a little hug. They become true, life-long friends.

Advantages of an Older Cat

When meeting an older cat, you can tell what their personality is like: a snuggle-bunny, a player, a listener, a talker. Even the shy ones show you what they are going to be like in their permanent home. Finding a personality to match what you are looking for in a feline is so much easier with an older cat. And what can be better than that?

Many things in life improve with age. As adults we are wiser and understand and appreciate more so why should we not apply the same logic to our cat friends? A mature cat offers gratitude and loyalty. They are lovable and loving and should not be invisible.

Remove the Cloak of Invisibility

So the next time you pass by an adoption area, take a look at those gentle soulful eyes that are pleading for another chance. The older cats are deserving of love and make wonderful companions.Consider adopting a mature cat and help remove their cloak of invisibility.

Written by: Patti Jean Altridge
Photo by: Grace Robertson
–Ninth Life Cat Rescue Volunteers
Rescue Cat pictured: Slick

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How to Maintain a Healthy Weight for Your Cat

How to Maintain a Healthy Weight for Your Cat

How to Maintain a Healthy Weight for Your Cat

As pet lovers, it’s tough to resist spoiling our cats with that extra treat or two every night before bed. But would you be able to tell if your cat became overweight? And if they did, would you know what to do about it?

An overweight cat can have health issues like arthritis, heart problems and diabetes. A healthy domestic cat should weigh around 10 pounds, although this can vary based on size and frame. While you should always bring your furry friend to the vet for an accurate analysis, there are a few telltale signs you can look for on your own, too. When you look at your cat, they should have an hourglass figure and no saggy belly hanging down. You should also be able to feel their ribs (but not too much).

Here are a few tips to maintain a healthy weight for your cat:

Replace dry food with wet
Wet food has more protein, less carbohydrates, and is an all around healthier option for your cat.

Cut out grazing
Rather than leaving a bowl of food out for your cats to snack on all day, try setting designated meal times.This will help ensure your cat isn’t over eating out of habit or boredom.

Read the bag
Every cat food is different. If you switch your cat’s food, make sure you’re re-reading the serving size, as it has probably changed!

Designate more time for play
Like humans, the more active your cats are, the easier it will be to maintain a slim waistline. It’s important to make sure your furry friends are getting the proper amount of exercise every day.

Adopt a friend
If you don’t have enough time to keep your cat active every day, it might be a good idea to consider adopting a companion cat. Companion cats keep each other happy, healthy and most importantly… active!

Find a new reward
If you reward your cat’s good behavior (and overall cuteness) with treats, it might be time to find a new system. Your cat would be just as happy to earn some extra play or snuggle time—and it would help cut back on calories.

While we all love having some lazy snuggle time with our cats, or watching them light up over a full dish or an extra treat, we must also remember the importance of keeping them healthy and active!

Article Written by: Shelby Andrews
Photo by: Grace Robertson
–Ninth Life Cat Rescue Volunteers
Rescue Cat Pictured: Lavender

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Why Your Cat Needs a Companion

Why Your Cat Needs a Companion

Does My Cat Need a Companion (The Answer is Probably YES!)

For most animal lovers, once you’ve adopted your first cat, adopting a second seems almost irresistible! Many potential adopters come into our shelter who desire a second cat, but have hesitations as to whether it’s the right decision.

Usually, their main concern boils down to a simple case of cohabitation anxiety (whether or not the current cat will be able to get along with the new one).

While there are a few cases where your furry friend may be happier alone, it’s very unlikely that this is the case! Here are a few reasons why adopting a companion cat is a great move for your pets:

#1. Companion cats keep each other company

While cats are much more independent than dogs and other pets, they still need socialization! If your household is always on the go—whether it be with work, school or other obligations—a companion cat is a great way to ensure your pets are still getting the attention they need. While you’re away, they can help to keep each other busy (but don’t worry, they’ll still be thrilled when you come home again).

#2. Companion cats keep each other active

Whether you have a young kitten who needs someone to jump around with, or an older cat who could use some encouragement when it comes to keeping active, a companion cat is an excellent solution.

Having a friend to entertain them will ensure your current cat is getting all the exercise they need, and at all times of the day. For example, cats can spend up to 16 hours sleeping each day, but most of these are done during the morning and afternoon. That means when you’re ready to go to bed, your cat is probably gearing up for its most active hours.That’s where a companion comes in!

#3. Companion cats keep each other mentally stimulated

We know what you’re thinking—double the cats means double the trouble, right? Wrong!

Did you know that a lonely cat is much more likely to cause trouble, and without even realizing it? Having another cat to keep it occupied can reduce (almost) any mischievous behaviour you may currently be experiencing in your home.

#4. Companion cats allow each other to BE cats

As much as you might understand and relate to your furry friend, there’s no one that can do it quite as well as another cat. Interaction with its own species will allow your pet to embrace its full feline!

It’s important to note that although companion cats have many benefits, introducing two cats takes time. Multiple cats probably won’t be best friends right away, but with a proper introduction, a companion cat will be the best decision you’ve ever made!

Article written by: Shelby Andrews
Photo by: Melissa Sue Visentin
–Ninth Life Cat Rescue Volunteers
Rescue Cat Pictured: Bonnie

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Cat Introductions: How NOT to Make the Fur Fly

Cat Introductions: How NOT to Make the Fur Fly

Miss Kitty seems lonely and you want her to have a furry friend to play with when you aren’t there. You adopt a new cat who seems like a perfect match for Miss Kitty and take him home. Arriving home, you promptly open the carrier and say “Miss Kitty, meet Master Tom” and expect a harmonious reception. Instead of the anticipated friendly curiosity, Master Tom and Miss Kitty turn into a blur of flying fur, slashing nails, and high-pitched screaming (possibly yours’).

So what went wrong?

So many people believe that cats “will work it out” when introducing a new cat to a home. They may “work it out” but rarely is it in the positive way you had hoped. Improper introductions between cats can trigger problematic behaviours such as not using the litter box. Health issues can arise from stress and injuries occur from fighting. Many times Master Tom will be returned to the rescue after a couple of days because he did not get along with the other cat and Miss Kitty has been traumatized unnecessarily. So what can you do?

PROPER INTRODUCTIONS

Cats are territorial and do not appreciate change so introductions need to be slow and extra attention should always be given to the resident cat, i.e. Miss Kitty. You do not want your cat to feel threatened by the new arrival as if he is going to replace her.

STEP 1: When bringing home a new cat have a separate room set up and take the new cat directly there, not stopping along the way to let your resident cat sniff the other. 

STEP 2: Prepare to keep cats separated for at least 2 weeks. Cats have their own timetables and it could be longer or shorter.

STEP 3: Let the cats sniff on either side of the closed door to get used to each other’s scent. Placing their food bowls or treats here will make the experience a positive association.

STEP 4: Exchange scents by taking a favourite blanket or toy from each cat and giving it to the other. Watch their reactions and provide positive responses possibly with treats or soothing words.

STEP 5: When the new cat seems comfortable with his room and you (perhaps after a week or so), allow him to explore the rest of the house accompanied by you while your resident cat explores the new cat’s room. Always follow up with positive reinforcement.

STEP 6: If you have a baby gate or something similar, the next step is to open the door to the new cat’s room and allow them to see each other. Treats or food on either side of the gate will make them associate the introduction as a positive thing. The timing on this varies.

If step 6 goes well after repeated several times:

STEP 7: You can move on to controlled play in the same room. At different ends of a room each cat can engage with a person in play (if there are at least two of you). Watch for any aggressive moves. If play goes well, it can be repeated at a closer distance next time. 

After step 7 is successful, you can try allowing the cats to interact in a room but only while under supervision. Sometimes having the new cat in the carrier is the safest way to carry this out and gradually over time allow the new cat out.

Always supervise interaction between the cats until you feel comfortable that they can be left on their own for a short period and then extend the length of time until they are out enjoying each other’s company for good.

Doing it right means you only have to do it once

A proper introduction means less stress and less behavioural problems in the future. Cats may be happy enough to skip a few steps but always follow their lead and watch their reactions to each other. We want a loving and happy relationship for Miss Kitty and Master Tom.

For expert advice please check out these famous cat behaviourists:

Pamela Johnson-Bennett http://www.catbehaviorassociates.com/

Jackson Galaxy http://jacksongalaxy.com/

 

Article written by: Patti Jean Altridge
Photo by: Grace Robertson
–Ninth Life Cat Rescue Volunteers

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